Give Crooked Cucumber to a friend

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A small book on Suzuki Roshi and his students - To Shine One Corner of the World. See below [click thumbnail above for bigger picture]

About Crooked Cucumber, the book

About Suzuki Roshi     


branching.gif (64341 bytes) Suzuki Roshi 
lectures on the San Do Kai--- 
Hit thumbnail to enlarge cover.

Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness
by Shunryu Suzuki
Mel Weitsman & Michael Wenger (Editors) $22.50 Paperback - 197 pages (November 1999) University of California Press ISBN: 0520219821
For more info go to Branching Streams.

Dharma groups in or related to Shunryu Suzuki's lineage (online or off).

The biography of Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Soto Zen master, author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, founded San Francisco Zen Center & Buddhist monastery Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center.

Shunryu Suzuki (not to be confused with the great monk and scholar D.T. Suzuki) came to America in 1959 to minister to a small Japanese-American congregation at Sokoji, Soto Zen Mission, on Bush Street in San Francisco.
Click here for bigger picture.

"Chadwick's biography provides a generous glimpse of the humanity and message of one of the great spiritual teachers of the modern world."   
-Publisher's Weekly

Artists, school teachers, poets, and students of Asian culture and thought began to practice zazen, Zen meditation, with him early in the morning.  Crooked Cucumber tells the story of his life and the development of his teaching and the San Francisco Zen center. It includes many previously unpublished excerpts from his lectures, lots of great teaching stories, and a unique, unromantic look at a Zen master's whole life. 

This web site will be a companion to the book but without the restrictions. It will include interviews, notes, photos, and much more as time permits.  

Now in paperback for $15

backcovercc721.jpg (66746 bytes)Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki is published by Broadway Books, is a hardback of 432 pages with 16 pages of b/w photos. It retails for $26 and is widely available.
Click thumbnail to see back cover. It's a poor scan, shady, to be replaced.
 The hardback is about sold out and it will soon be available only in paperback.

tycover.gif (48831 bytes)Thank You and OK!: an American Zen Failure in Japan, published by Penguin Arkana, is Chadwick's first book. It's a trade paperback , 454 pages, retails at $14.95, is in its 5th printing and is widely available. Click cover thumbnail to enlarge.

See Reviews and Quotes (as well as many Readers' Comments) on Crooked Cucumber on this site and also the reviews on for both books are highly recommended. The ones for CC  in the Reviews section.

Crooked Cucumber is now available in paperback for $15. 

Please support this web site and the oral history and other archiving being conducted by David Chadwick. Give to the Cucumber Project. 

WHAT'S NEW on this site-August, 2002

Most recent notes posted here, then sent to What Was New in 2002)

There's a lot of old material that's as good as new if you haven't read it. -DC

There are a number of NEW BOOKS from the SFZC community.

8/10/02 - to get the SFZC's email newsletter, email them at <>.

8/9/02 - An appeal from Vanja Palmers for support for Kobun Chino's family.

8/6/02 - A message from Tensho David Schneider describing Kobun Chino and Maya's funeral. Also from David Schneider, a piece from his journal on Philip Whalen.

8/5/02 - Having returned from Tassajara where I spent ten days with my eleven year old son, Clay, with great sadness I post here, for those who don't already know, that Kobun Chino Roshi, our friend and teacher, drowned with his daughter Maya on July 26 in Switzerland. As I get more information I will post it on the Kobun Chino page

7/18/02 - Interview with Roy Iwaki, architect, artist, and builder

6/30/02 - More on Philip Whalen has been added including a report on his cremation ceremony, when and where the memorial service for him will be, and where to send donations in his name. There are many links to articles, obits, memories of Philip, comments, poems, and pictures.

6/26/02 - This morning Philip Whalen died in his bed at the hospice of Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco. 

6/15/02 - Interview with Reuven Ben Yuhmin, wild man gardener at Tassajara who's been in Taiwan since the early seventies.

6/11/02 - Suzuki Roshi student Bill Lane has been reading my books here by Shodo Harada Roshi who was my teacher and kind patron when I was in Japan and I realized that I'd never put them on this web site because this is a Shunryu Suzuki oriented web site but it really has no particular limits and Shodo Harada Roshi's teaching is as worthy as anything I've got on here. His books are Morning Dewdrops of the Mind : Teachings of a Contemporary Zen Master and The Path to Bodhidharma : Teachings of Shodo Harada Roshi. Those links are to (for informational purposes before you buy them from independent booksellers though I must say I do appreciate Amazon) but you can also go to to learn more about Shodo Harada Roshi, his teaching, his sangha, and his books. I miss him. He's great. Check him out. The reason I keep writing his full name is that there are so many Harada Roshis in Japan who teach westerners. It's sort of an anomaly, like if there were five well known Zen teachers in America named Johnson. - DC 

6/6/02 - The new book of Shunryu Suzuki edited lectures, the true sequel to Zen Mind Beginner's Mind, is out. It's  Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen, edited by Edward Espe Brown. 

A Suzuki Roshi Lecture from June 11, 1967

Today all over America people are gathering and marching and all to support sick people's right to take medicine, namely, marijuana. I'll be in on the Santa Rosa, California, demonstration. I want to make a poster that says

Buddhists Against the Drug war

but I probably won't. I also think people should be able to smoke marijuana for fun like I think they should be able to do other naughty things like watch TV, eat sugar, drink beer, and run their own lives. Like it or not, a lot of marijuana consumption is also for spiritual purposes and so to deny it to them is religious persecution. Nothing new. - DC

6/5/02 - An interview with Koshin Ogui, a Jodo Shinshu priest who was close with Suzuki Roshi.

5/31/02 - For those of you who know Della Goertz, her 90th birthday is coming up on July 11th. She doesn't want any big to do  made for it so Michael Wenger at Zen Center is putting together an informal book for her which will consist of people's memories and stories and tributes or whatever. Submissions should be made to him by July 1. Della was one of Suzuki Roshi's first students who met him in the first weeks that he was here in America. See the interview with Della that's on this side. I'll try to put more on about her in the coming days. Send to Michael Wenger, SFZC, 300 Page Street, San Francisco, CA 95472. And don't tell her. Thanks - DC.

There are a number of other new books out of the SF Zen Center crowd that I should mention. I'll get them in the bibliography with their covers and more info, but for now I'll just list them in reverse alphabetical order. But for now I'll just give them a link to Independent booksellers, my dear friends, please excuse me - it's for informational purposes only. I have no commercial links on this site. - DC

Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics
by Allan Hunt Badiner (Editor), Alex Grey (Editor), Huston Smith (Preface) [and I've got a chapter in there - DC], Chronicle Books. The much longer unedited version of my contribution to this book, Psychoactivism.

to stop the War on Drugs.

Wind Bell: Teachings from the San Francisco Zen Center - 1968-2001 -- by Michael Wenger (Editor), Gretel Erlich, North Atlantic Books. [That was an informative link on it, but here's the link. A great collection of various articles, including Suzuki lectures, from old Wind Bells.

Opening to You: Zen Inspired Translation of the Psalms by Norman Fischer, Penguin Putnam

Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen, Shunryu Suzuki, edited by Edward Espe Brown. Harper Collins. This is the true sequel to Zen Mind Beginner's Mind.

Neither Monk nor Layman, Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism, Richard M. Jaffe, Princeton University Press

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell (contributor), Harmony Books - not from anyone in ZC but some of us are interested in her work.

Healing Lazarus : A Buddhist's Journey from Near Death to New Life -- by Lewis Richmond, Pocket Books. See my comments - DC.

Deep Fool by BS Eisenberg, Hara Publishing. Shocking, disturbing.


Original Mind: the Practice of Zen in the West by Richard Baker-roshi, Riverhead Books is listed as being published this month on, but I understand that it's not ready yet .and may never be -DC

To Shine One Corner of the World: Moments with Shunryu Suzuki  shine cover.jpg (35273 bytes) 
by students of Shunryu Suzuki, edited by David Chadwick
144 pages  ISBN: 0767906519
. [Click thumbnail to enlarge]

Brief Publisher's Weekly review  
Flap copy - what's on the jacket.      Introduction to the book.

To see what was added to this site in earlier months, go to What Was New


What is Suzuki-roshi looking at on the cover of the book? 

See the entries that were submitted.

And here's the answer!

This contest is over. But someday a new one will begin. Stay posted.

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